In this episode, Alex speaks with Emma Sullings, the Founder of The Happy Boxes Project – a charity dedicated to breaking down the barriers that many Aussie women in rural communities face by providing access to everyday essentials.
After studying teaching at uni, Emma worked in a remote community in the Northern Territory where she was 4 hours away from the closest town. She quickly saw the hardships that came with living remotely and set up about trying to support the girls in her care.
Food scarcity is a huge problem for many people in these communities which results in exorbitant prices. And when food is expensive, there is often little money left for self-care items. Overcrowding in housing was another issue experienced by a lot of her students which meant these girls had little space for themselves when they were going through their teenage years.
She quickly set up a wellbeing group for her students and decided to put a call out on Facebook and ask family and friends to send any spare self care items to her so she could share these amongst her girls during the group. Emma was inundated and before long the Happy Box project was born.
They now supply Happy Boxes to over 50 communities over 5 states in Australia.
Emma has a co-ordinator in each of the communities who oversees the distribution of the Happy Boxes in each community. They support women of all age from tweens through to elders.
How Has Covid Affected the Project?
Food pricing and security was a problem for remote communities before COVID so, these problems became worse which means access to self care and hygiene items was harder than ever during this time.
There was also a decrease in donations as she was no longer able to accept second hand items.
How To Get Involved?
You can send and create your own Happy Box. If you pop onto the Happy Box website, you will find the postal details for the remote communities that you can send your parcel to.
You may choose to donate money which helps Emma and her team purchase and post specific products that are inaccessible as ensure there is a guaranteed supply of happy boxes to Aussie women in remote communities. All donations can be made on the website here.
You could also volunteer and choose to donate your skills and your time. You can register your interest here.
The Grown Up Girls Report & Happy Boxes
Over the coming weeks, I’ll be organising a collection to create Happy Boxes to send to Emma’s communities. Look out for updates via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
You can listen to the podcast via your favourite app or via the link below.
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